Most Upsetting Bond Movie Deaths (SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by TedShatner10, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    The James Bond novels and movie spin-offs revel in the Women in Refrigerators and Likable Sidekick Tragically Killed plot devices: being Bond's girl or Bond's contact is as dangerous an occupation as being a relative or girlfriend to Peter Parker. Which supporting character's deaths do you find the hardest to sit through? Here is my shortlist:

    Vesper Lynd - Goes without saying, her being blackmailed into working for Quantum, which leads to her eventual suicide, overshadowing two whole movies.

    Tracy di Vicenzo - Another death that goes without saying and makes you wonder how Bond as a character copes with survivor's guilt, with a meek George Lazenby cradling her corpse in his arms and mumbling having all the time in the world reducing me to tears as a small boy.

    Severnaya Staff - Faceless redshirts to be sure, but just regular and likable looking joes doing their job then getting gunned down by a crazed villainess for their trouble. The real emotional effect was from Natalya's saddened reaction to the senseless carnage in her workplace.

    Aki - Seeing the sassy, confident Aki getting her lungs constricted by poison (while giving this pleading, frightened gaze) was hard to take. The very creepy and downbeat soundtrack by John Barry doesn't help either.

    Strawberry Fields and Mathis - Fields' death was very bizarre and tragically leftfield (with her reception note making you think she was warning about British agents instead of Quantum agents). Mathis comes back after what Bond unintentionally did to him, only to get shot and get respectfully dumped into a rubbish bin.

    Ali Kerim Bey - The impact of his death was very severe not only because of the eeriness of Bond stumbling upon Bey's body after Red Grant paid Bey a visit (not witnessing the murder) but (as with Mathis and Aki) he also spent half the story being a very likable and affectionate ally.

    Severine - A comparatively recent example from last year's Skyfall and although a henchwoman, she was implied to have a very tragic, squalid past, and when tied to rock and waiting to be shot by Silva or Bond, her zoned out and courageous facial expression is so heart breaking.
     
  2. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Joe Don Baker's career.
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The hardest scenes for me to sit through are the "attempted rape wins the girl over" scenes in Goldfinger and Thunderball - it really was a different time in the 60s, wasn't it?

    As for the hardest deaths to sit through...

    I've never made it all the way through Vesper's death scene with my eyes open- but that's because it's too close to home for me; I didn't actually think much to either character or, especially, the actress.

    Not a death, but Q's retirement, just cos of knowing Desmond died as it came out. (see also Kerim Bey, knowing that the actor shot himself after filming.)

    After that, I'd say Tracy, for all the right reasons - it's very emotionally involving - and Severine for pretty much the wrong reasons in that it's a bit of needless cruelty that really serves no plot purpose. Which, sadly, extends pretty much to the character's existence in general.

    Maud Adams' character in TMWTGG would qualify as well.
     
  4. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ali Kerim Bey was my favorite character in all the Bond films, so that ranks right up there for me.
     
  5. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Tracy's death all the way, I don't think anything comes close, the only thing that does is oddly not a death, as Lonemagpie already said, Q's last scene was real lump in the throat stuff.

    Stella's death in LtK was pretty hard.

    Having just seen FYEO a week or so ago I'd say the death of the countessa as well, particularly given the real life story of Cassandra Harris.

    Vesper's death never really affected me. I don't like the character, and fail to see what makes her so special to Bond, and Green's performance is...well just a trifle odd (but then her performances often are)
     
  6. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm the G-man and I approve this message.
     
  7. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Me too. Probably my favorite character in the books as well. Fleming writes about the light that seemed to come from the character and how troubled Bond is that it has now been extinguished. I thought it was remarkable that this very essence gets put across by Armendariz considering he was literally on his last legs while shooting those scenes.

    I guess Solange's death in CR had some weight, because that actress, who was also in a great short-lived TV series in the UK, was practically the only performer in the whole movie I had any affinity for (though now that I've seen Mads in a few films, I admit he is damned good in most things.)
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Anthony Zerbe and Benicio Del Toro in Licence To Kill :eek:
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if this one counts as an upsetting death, but in Never Say Never Again, doesn't bumbling boob Nigel Small-Fawcett (Rowan Atkinson) get killed?
     
  10. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    The death of the pretty chopper pilot in Moonraker(being run down by hounds)really upset my younger self and probably turned me off all things Bond for ever after.
    Over here Bond movies are a tv staple at Christmas and on bank holidays.Baffling.
     
  11. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, he lived to ask Bond back and fall clumsily into the pool in the films final scene.

    Tracy's death can't be beat. It is the tragic highlight of the series.

    The death of Corinne in MOONRAKER, as mentioned, is pretty shocking, just for the implied vision of how gruesome it is.

    I also have to mention Quarrel from DR. NO. Although his death is adapted pretty straight from novel to film, his death in the novel feels more emotionally wrecking since Quarrel and Bond had a much longer and closer relationship in it than in the film version, with Quarrel having appeared in LIVE AND LET DIE before and getting Bond into shape over the course of several days cut off from any other contact.

    To me, Paris Carver's death in TOMORROW NEVER DIES was also pretty heavy, but that's mainly because this was the first Bond movie I saw in a theater, and to boot that I had a huge crush on Teri Hatcher at the time. And while her death happened off-screen, Dr. Kaufman appears as such a cold and methodical killer it just gives you a chill thinking about it. And Bond was allowed to show some emotion over her death.

    Which reminds me, he also was allowed some emotion over the death of Elektra King, which went even further since it was him who killed her.
     
  12. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    What makes Tracy's death and also the death of the unsung Aki stick out as incredibly sad is because both were killed entirely because of botched attempts on Bond's life. He got severely punished by attempting to foster long term relationships and is very dangerous to be around, why do some people day dream about being him?

    Tracy's death was very frustrating because she was mercilessly cut down right at the finish line before the credits roll (after all she's been through) and Aki's death leaves a bitter aftertaste when, after the tense and tragic interlude, YOLT whiplashes back into being cartoonish again.

    TWINE was somehow a very "meh" Bond movie and John Cleese sucked since 1994, but yeah, that scene was touching.
     
  13. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Fleming makes it quite clear in the novels that due to the nature of Bond's work, he will never settle down and be happy. There's several pages of discussion at the beginning of Moonraker (I believe) in which Bond talks about the agents in the Secret Service having frequent affairs with married women, short trysts with women on the job, but never settling down. He even talks about how that is expected of the men in the Service, but it is a double standard for the women (like his secretary, Ponsonby) who must resign themselves to either be married to the Service or married to a man, because you can't do both, due to the risk of a foreign agent compromising the women for secrets (strangely, not a concern for the men).

    Thus, Tracy's death is tragic because Bond tries to break free from those cruel restrictions, and pays dearly for it moments after his wedding. Likewise, in Casino Royale (the book and the movie) he falls in love with Vesper, and when she dies and he finds out she was a spy, he responds coldly with "The bitch is dead."
     
  14. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    For me it's definitely Vesper Lynd's death. Damn fine scene.
     
  15. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't even remember any of their names...
     
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    The trouble with Aki's death is that Connery's cut up about it for all of 2 seconds.

    It occurs to me that half the impact comes down to Bond's reaction, hence why I'm eternally grateful we had Lazenby in OHMSS not Connery because, for all Lazenby's many flaws, he plays that last scene magnificently, and better than I think Connery ever could.

    Brosnan makes Paris' death with his reaction, and for all people say he's a lousy actor, Rog manages to show the pain of loss over Tracy not just once, but twice. Watch his face when Anya mentioned him being married, and again when he visits her grave.

    Dalton shows pain over Tracy too, and not forgetting the boiling rage in his eyes over Stella, Felix and sharky, even his rage over Saunders' death.
     
  17. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    All of this serves to illustrate why Connery was not the best Bond. He's certainly the most famous, and he's the one who made the role and is most closely identified with it, but as far as his actual portrayal, it leaves much to be desired. Lazenby made OHMSS wholly enjoyable, and brought a fresh perspective to the character.

    (Roger Moore is still the worst Bond, though.)
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I wish. No, he's even around for the tag, and is the guy Bond says "never again' too even.

    edit addon: the french agent, Nicole, is NSNA's sacrificial lamb.

    I think all of the movies except SPY WHO have got at least one sacrificial lamb. (well, maybe TWINE and DAD haven't got one either, but I almost never watch those and can't remember.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  19. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I don't think Connery's portrayal in general leaves much of ANYTHING to be desired. He conveys plenty of emotional distress over Kerim's death, and over Jill's too. He's just bored silly by YOLT and it obviously shows (though it is interesting that YOLT's director considers the emotion Connery shows in Aki's death to be significant ... then again, the guy who directed YOLT, SPY and MR is for my money the lousiest repeat director in Bond history.)

    Connery absolutely has the magic, and while Dalton captures more of the Bond in the later books (and, paradoxically, CR Bond, where I really wish he'd had the chance to do the 'nature of evil' scene) and remains my favorite for the layers he peels back, Connery is easily the best. If you count TAILOR OF PANAMA as a Bond performance, it shows Brosnan could have brought the goods with the right director and material.

    Moore is a joke, Bond gay's uncle, Lazenby isn't even playing Bond (taken on its own, OHMSS is very good, but he just ain't even close to playing Bond) and this THING we've had for the last three films does a grave disservice to Fleming and Peter Hunt and Terence Young and just about everything I've ever liked about print or film Bond. SKYFALL killed off 48 years of filmgoing Bond for me, even with the great Deakins office in china scene (which itself was ruined by music when it should have been only sound effects.)
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, I must be confusing his fate with Patrick MacNee's character in A View to a Kill. Haven't seen either in over 20 years. Or maybe I disliked the Small-Fawcett character so much, I wished him dead.

    Edit: A tip of the hat to trevanian too, for the reply.